The Ruined City.

The shadows of a thousand springs,1
Unnumbered sunsets, sternly sleep2
Above the dust of perished things3
That form this city’s blasted heap.4
Dull watch the crumbling columns keep5
Against the fierce relentless sky,6
Hours, that no dial noteth, creep7
Like unremembered phantoms, by ;8
And still this city of the dead9
Gives echo to no human tread.10
A curse is writ on every stone,11
The Temple’s latest pillar, lies12
Like some white Mammoth’s bleaching bone,13
Its altars know no deities.14
Fine columns of a palace rise,15
And when the sun is red and low,16
And glaring in the molten skies,17
A shadow huge these columns throw,18
That like some dark colossal hand19
In silence creeps across the sand.20
The Senate slumbers, wondrous hive21
Of councils sage, of subtle schemes ;22
But does no lingering tone survive23
To prove their presence more than dreams ?24
No light of revelation beams25
Around that voiceless Forum now,26
Time bears upon his restless streams27
No reflex of the haughty brow28
That oft has frowned a nation’s fate29
Here—where dark reptiles congregate.30
Where, where, is now the regal rag31
That clothed the monarch of yon tower,32
On which the rank weed flaps its flag33
Across the dusk this sombre hour ?34
Alas ! for pomp, alas ! for power,35
When Time unveils their nakedness,36
And Valour’s strength and Beauty’s flower37
Find naught to echo their distress ;38
And flattery—fine delusive breath39
Melts in the iron grasp of Death.40
Day rises with an angry glance,41
As if to blight the stagnant air,42
And hurls his fierce and fiery lance43
On that Doomed City’s forehead bare.44
The sunset’s wild and wandering hair45
Streams backward like a comet’s mane,46
And from the deep and sullen glare47
The shuddering columns crouch in vain,48
And through the wreck of wrathful years49
The grim hyæna stalks and sneers.50